Hebron Youth Baseball welcomes New Britain Rock Cats

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Hebron - posted Tue., May. 14, 2013
Jeff Smith, New Britain Rock Cats manager, works with Evan Rearick of the LSU Tigers as part of the Opening Day clinic for Hebron Youth Baseball. Photo courtesy of Robert Fraleigh. - Contributed Photo

Despite iffy weather, an opening day celebration for Hebron Youth Baseball’s rookie and tee ball leagues went on as planned at Gilead Hill School on May 11. “It’s like a party,” said one young player, as he got out of the family car in the parking lot overlooking the school fields. Down below, a rainbow of colored jerseys swarmed over the grass as “I Want to Rock and Roll All Night” issued from the sound system. There were the black shirts of the Alabama Crimson Tides, the royal blue of the Wild Cats, the hunter green of the Knights, the grey of the Red Wings, the navy blue of the Mud Hens and the orange of the Clemson Tigers. Altogether there were 11 different teams, all sporting new uniforms sponsored by local businesses.

The agenda for the day included team introductions and opening remarks by Hebron Elementary School physical education teacher Mike Corona, himself a former all-conference and all-state baseball player. “Baseball’s a great game,” said Corona. “It’s a great game to play, and it’s a great game to relate to life as well.” Corona encouraged the young players to appreciate and respect the game, “and appreciate the people that are here for you.” He cautioned against focusing too heavily on one single position. “Learn the entire game,” said Corona. “The more you know about baseball the better you’re going to do.”

As opening remarks continued, a murmur went through the ranks on the field. Representatives from the New Britain Rock Cats had arrived. “They’re here,” said the young players excitedly. The remainder of the event was spent interacting with Rock Cats representatives, including player AJ Pettersen, Manager Rick Smith, Coach Joe Walsh and mascot Rocky.

The clinic “was part of a series of youth baseball clinics sponsored by Connecticut Children's Medical Center as part of their community health and wellness programs,” said Bob Fraleigh from Hebron Youth Baseball. “In addition to receiving instruction on baseball, the kids who attend receive information on healthy eating and exercise tips for young athletes.”

Check out the new Hebron Youth Baseball website at http://www.hybsa.org/.

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